2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Newburyport's Maritime Museum

the road to Plum Island

the Merrimack River

osprey display in the Visitor Center

the dreaded greenhead fly

the road to Plum Island

boardwalk to the beach

Plum Island beach

those plovers again

and the plovers are saying 'those darned people!'

Madolyn and Mom

refuge marshland

mute swans


water levels in these waterways are managed for the health of the...

the fact that we did not see a lot of wildlife in...

many kinds of berries for the birds to eat

red as well as purple

that's an osprey nest with two chicks and and an adult

in this blowup you can see the osprey's mate on top of...

Madolyn has the camera on automatic sitting on the railing

much of the service road is gravel

swans again

elegant creatures

north of Newburyport we're nearing New Hampshire

and a few blocks later we were across the state line

beach resort town

everything's packed for the holiday weekend

New Hampshire coast drive

typical beach town

the tide is out


a big resort

we're getting close to Maine now

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

a picturesque harbor



bridge over the state line

across the bridge is Maine

and the town of Kittery

roads are narrow and winding, but the traffic is light

Maine beach

not very crowded tonight

nearing the town of Wells

our campsite for the 4th

no fireworks here though

view from our campground

coastal village

A side trip to Plum Island Thusday, July 3

Today we're headed for Maine, but before we left we decided to see a little more of the Massachusetts coast. So we got on Highway 1 south and backtracked to the town of Newburyport, which is the gateway to Plum Island.

Both town and Island lie north of Ipswich and the Gloucester peninsula. It would have been nice to see Gloucester, but there just isn't time this trip through.

Newburyport is a clean, pretty town at the mouth of the Merrimack River. The streets are a little narrow but we navigated them OK and headed out to Plum Island. On the way we stopped at the Parker National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. The refuge is on Plum Island, where it lies on the Atlantic Flyway, but the Visitor Center is on the mainland.

They showed an excellent video on the five geographical zones of the refuge, the sand beach, the dunes, the shrub and vegetation level, the ponds, and the salt marsh. At the present the beach is closed to the public to protect the piping plover nesting areas. A very nice woman filled us in on the details of the refuge, and also gave us good directions to explore the coast on our way to Maine, and a lot of information on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

We drove out to the refuge and spent the next few hours driving the road and taking the several walks out to observation areas. We saw a lot of egrets and swallows, and a cormorant, a duck and a group of mute swans. The wind made the walks through the woods fly and mosquito free, and the salt marshes were beautiful.

On the way back through Newburyport we stopped at a great little restaurant with a fine view of the harbor, then we got back on Highway 1 and took off for Maine.

To get to Maine via the coast route, you have to drive across about 15 miles of New Hampshire. That's not much coastline for a state, but New Hampshire makes the most of it. There are resort and beach communities, and stretches of open bluffs that overlook the rocky coast and surf. It's a beautiful drive, and we were glad we drove this way instead of I-95.

At the town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire we crossed the river into Kittery, Maine and from there it was a half hour drive to our campground in Wells. For the next three nights we'll be here at the Sea Vu Campground. The name kind of grates on the nerves, but with a trip journal called 2008keys2canada who am I to criticize?

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